March 2, 2012
Seriously, the road to Poland from Praugue was one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Over 200 km of cobblestone roads or broken concrete. The bus couldn’t go faster than 30 mph, and most of Agent Cooper were unable to sleep due to the extremely rough ride. When we arrived in a chilly Krakow, the sky had returned to it’s familiar gray. The club we were playing was in the old part of town, so we had problems negotiating our passage into the city, as there are weight limits and narrow streets. In the end we arranged a truce with the local cops (who were all wearing Uzis) and got within a 100 m of the club. We dropped the gear in, got our personal gear, and then our driver backed that double-decker bus and trailer 800 yards straight out. We were impressed.
The venue, The Lizard King, continued the epic of stairs, but it’s a very nice venue. The promoter took great care of us, and we had a day room at a nice hotel around the corner, so we all got proper showers. The food at the venue was tip top. Doug, Sean and I took a walk into the old square before soundcheck to get a coffee. It was cold, but beautiful and very clean. Like Prague but without the tourist traps.
After soundcheck, we ate (best spread of the tour so far) and I headed to the room for a shower and some manscaping. I came back feeling great, to a line halfway down the block waiting to get in. About time.
Agent Cooper had our best set of the tour thus far, Eric’s illness notwithstanding. It felt great, and the crowd went nuts. It was so much fun. There were even several girls in the audience. A small miracle.
Tony’s set was inspired, although you could tell he didn’t feel well (his earlier cold had relapsed). Aquiles was totally feeling it though, just in the zone for the most part. A little more than halfway through their set, one of his right hand crash cymbal stands just totally failed, the metal just gave way. This was followed by a comedy scene involving Aquiles trying to communicate that he wanted me to pull one of the splashes and replace the broken crash stand. We figured it out with like a second to spare and he was back up, but clearly a little rattled. We had a laugh about it later.
After the show we did our usual Cookeville breakdown, and were informed that the bus had arrived and we had to have it loaded and out of the way in 30 min. The production company was in our way, as well as the opening band, but they had no idea what they were facing. We pretty much mowed them down and had that shit wrapped up like a sandwich in under 30. We were on fire. Afterwards there were high spirits on the bus as the end of the day hang commenced, the wine and Glenfiddich flowing freely. Overall it was the best night of the tour so far.
The roads to Slovakia were just as bad. Next stop: Bratislava.